The Baseball Bloggers Alliance is putting together an All-Star team, and accepting nominations from members. It would be easy to say, ‘the starting 8 for the Cardinals please’ and turn that in – after all, this is a popularity contest - but I am not that big a homer. How about this: an All-Star team based on Wins Above Replacement as of 21 June 10? I do reserve the right to modify the nominations.
Vote Leader: Albert Pujols. WAR Leader: Adrian Gonzalez. Our pick: Albert Pujols. With apologies to Mr. Gonzalez, this is after all a Cardinal blog.
Vote Leader: Chase Utley. WAR Leader: Chase Utley. Our Pick: Chase Utley. Like, duh.
Vote Leader: Placido Polanco. WAR Leader: Ryan Zimmerman. Our Pick: Zimmerman. With apologies to Scott Rolen, who is having a resurgent year, Zimmerman is the best third baseman in the NL.
Vote Leader: Hanley Ramirez. WAR Leader: Troy Tulowitzki. Our Pick: Hanley Ramirez. Tulo went on the DL this week with a broken wrist.
Vote Leader: Yadier Molina. WAR Leader: Brian McCann. Our Pick: McCann. It’s a bit hard to believe McCann leads in WAR after all the time he’s missed this season, but he does.
Vote Leaders: Ryan Braun (LF), Jason Heyward (RF), Andre Ethier (RF). WAR Leaders: Andres Torres (RF), Marlon Byrd (CF), Matt Holliday (LF). Our Pick: Corey Hart (RF), Marlon Byrd (CF), Josh Willingham (LF). Hart leads the NL in home runs, Byrd has been surprisingly solid, and Willingham is having a great year.
I should point out here that the OF voting has always amused me. Apparently MLB doesn’t think the average fan is smart enough to pick a left, center, and right fielder. When I was a kid it seemed the starting outfield always included two center fielders; this year, no CF is in the top 3. One would think, since MLB has insisted on making the result of the All-Star game determine home field for the World Series, each league would want the starters to at least PLAY that position during the regular season. It can’t be that hard to modify the ballot to break the outfielders into the three positions.
Vote Leader: not a position one can vote for. WAR Leader: Roy Halladay. Our Pick: Stephen Strasburg Ubaldo Jimenez. I know, Strasburg is the greatest pitcher in the history of humanity throwing anything for distance and power, but before we anoint him as The Chosen One let’s see him throw more than 20 innings.
Tomorrow: American League.